RSA - the new name for Royal & SunAlliance - is an international insurance and financial services firm, selling a range of branded services including More Th>n and Codan across Europe. The company underwrites £6.5bn in premiums, with its UK operations contributing just over half of that figure; its UK operation is the largest single component in fact, with roots dating back to 1710. RSA has over 20 million customers worldwide, currently manages £13bn of investments, and employs over 22,000 people worldwide.

2009 has seen RSA extend its technology relationship with Accenture in the form of an expanded application outsourcing agreement. Under the terms of the deal signed by CIO James de Watteville, Accenture provides development, implementation and maintenance of IT applications for RSA UK in its commercial insurance product lines. Accenture are responsible for the claims processing, customer relationship management (CRM), policy management and back office support.

The companies have been working together since 2003, and RSA uses a number of Accenture developed systems, including its Insurance Solution and the Accenture Claim Components system.

The extension of the Accenture relationship follows two major IT outsourcing deals announced in 2007. A deal with IBM dating from 2001 was extended in a new 10-year partnership reportedly worth between $400m and $500m. Big Blue has been tasked with running the whole group's infrastructure, from mainframes, mid-range servers, desktops and e-business services, and integrate all third-party software into one overall architecture being co-designed by it and RSA.

At the same time, Cable & Wireless was handed responsibility for the company's telecomms network (including voice, wide area networking, mobility and conferencing) in a five year, multimillion contract, which also encompasses the firm's IP infrastructure.

In another part of the company's recent IT refresh, it has replaced its existing intranet search engine with the Google Search Appliance, a move it says will cut search times from between five and seven minutes to between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds.

De Watteville's other projects since joining RSA in May 2008 have included a refresh of the organisation's desktop and networking systems with the intention of improving service to customers. Forthcoming activities include a migration of legacy systems from M&A activity to the company's core strategic systems.